Bad day at work? Make it better in 7 steps

By Robert Half on 22 February 2021

Ever had one of those days at the office where nothing seems to go right?

Either you overslept or you didn't get enough sleep. There was no time for your coffee — or you had coffee, but you spilled it on your new shirt. You struggled to get your report done on time — and then the boss didn’t like it.

If you’re having a bad day at work, turn it around with these seven tips.

1. Have a cup of tea … outside

According to a study by the University College London, tea lowers stress and helps you feel more alert and energetic.

Make it doubly effective by sipping it outside: The great outdoors and fresh air can improve your mood.

2. Stretch out

Instead of fuming at your desk about a project that didn't go well, go for a walk. It’ll help clear your head.

If you don’t have time for that, stretch a little at your desk to help improve your circulation and flexibility. Doing so will ease the tight muscles that come with stress.

3. Tune in

Sometimes a distraction can serve an ultimate goal. Studies show that music can help lower your blood pressure, reduce stress and improve your mood.

Put in your earbuds and queue up your favourite songs if you’re having that bad day at work.

4. Clean your desk

Clutter may not be the reason for your bad day, but clearing it may help you work off negative energy.

Plus, you’ll feel more organised and focused when you remove the mountains of paper from your workspace.

5. Write it down

Write down what made your day go south, but don't look at it again until you get home. Then you can laugh it off or find a solution to the problem.

6. Reach out

Call someone you care about to take a break and clear your head. You don’t have to talk about your bad day at work.

Focus on something outside work for a few moments as you hear a familiar voice.

7. Change your focus

If getting bogged down with a certain project has caused your bad day at work, switch it up.

Work on something else for a bit, and return to the stressful assignment later.

A bad day at work doesn't last

Just remember, everyone has days where things at the office don't go right. What most people remember at the end of the day is how you overcame these challenges and stresses.

Whether you demonstrate positive body language or simply the willingness to do better next time, remember that a bad day at work doesn't last - because tomorrow is always a new day.

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